Retinopathy of Prematurity


Scientifically, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) also known as the terry syndrome or retrolental fibroplasia (RLF) is a disease that affects human eyes. Basically, this disease occurs in infants who are premature and may end being born blind as a result. Science has identified that the disease mostly occurs during the fetal development, it during the process, it is biologically normal that the blood vessels surrounding the eyes grow outwards and become fully grown after a full gestation period (Stahl et al.,2016).However, when infants are born before their due time or through premature birth, the blood vessels become scarred or damaged, or they abnormally grow in the retina of aninfant thus causing the terry syndrome(AARC website). Even though the disease may either be a mild one, in most cases, it leads to blindness in premature infants.


Biologically, it is evident that commonly prematurity/preterm occurs as a result of both the mother and the infant being in extremely low birth weight abbreviated as ELBW. Further scientific researches basically do place reliance on many factors that result in low birthweight infants. Such factors include a chronic or severe illness that may range from sepsis conditions, bronchopulmonary dysplasia and in some cases the conditions caused by respiratory distress syndrome otherwise known as RD (Hartnett, 2015). Notably, these conditions when in severe levels place the immature infant at higher risk of suffering the terry syndrome.

During the gestational period, around the 16th week, it is worth noting that this is the time when the Retinal vasculature begins to grow, this growth, proceeds with the gestation process until the full term. The rationale, therefore, is that whena premature birth occurs, the growth of the retinal vasculature ceases to grow or to mature as required(Cayabyab and Ramanathan,2016).Usually, as a medication for the preterm birth, hospital facilities provide generally oxygen for the infants in the nursery, the exposure of the infants to artificial oxygen (hyperoxia)negatively affects the retinal vascular endothelial growth factor. As a result, it is observable that the surrounding vessels around the retina not yet fully grown begin to constrict or undergo obliteration and thus fails to develop normally in a process referred to as hyperoxia-vasocessation(Kychenthal et al. 2017).Basically, the delayed development of retinal vascular is referred to as stage 1 of terry syndrome.

As the retina continues to receive more hyperoxia and more oxygen nutrients through a diffusion process, it continues to increase in thickness, and with time, it outgrows the required vascular supply that causes hypoxia-vasoproliferation. Science indicates that this is stage 2 of the ROP disease, notably, at this stage, the abnormal growth of the vessel is progressing gradually. In the same breath, stage III occurs after the vessel growth is full, the vessel spread on to the vitreous in the eyes and may at times cause fluid leakage and scarring(AARC website). When retinopathy of prematurity hits stage IV it is evident that the enlarged vessel will be partially detached from the retina thus causing more harm and it is at the last stage otherwise referred to as stage V when a complete detachment fro

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